She never ran for office herself but Ruth Woo was a trusted leader who helped shape the leaders who shaped our region.
Woo passed away on July 13 at the age of 89.
She was a political mentor to people like former governor Gary Locke, state Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, former King county executive Ron Sims, and Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu.
Woo is survived by her daughters, Teresa Yoneyama, of Seattle, and Janice Yoneyama, of Long Beach, Pacific County. A friend of the family said there will be no service, in accordance with Woo’s wishes.
Reaction is pouring in, in response to this news.
“There hasn’t been a more influential person in Washington State politics than Ruth Woo. She has been the behind-the scenes brains and mastermind in the elections and success of so many officials: city council members, state legislators, mayors, governors, judges, and members of Congress.
I could not have won my first race for elected office without Ruth. I owe it all to her.
Everyone running for office has sought out Ruth. An endorsement from Ruth meant instant credibility.
Ruth has forever promoted the advancement of Asian Americans and people of color not just in politics but all professions.
She has helped and inspired hundreds and hundreds of people.
She has been like a second Mom to all of us, encouraging us, supporting us, and like a true Mom, nagging us to do more!
It is up to us all to continue her work.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her entire family.
We love you Ruth and miss you so very much.”
Do you have a story or favorite memory about Ruth Woo? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.